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Shehee v. Carter

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 13, 2015

GREGORY ELL SHEHEE, Plaintiff,
v.
JACK CARTER, Defendant.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM (ECF NO. 1)

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, Magistrate Judge.

Findings and Recommendations

Plaintiff Gregory Ell Shehee ("Plaintiff") is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action. Plaintiff's complaint, filed on April 28, 2014, is currently before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

I. Screening Requirement

"Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action or appeal... fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id . (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id.

II. Allegations in Complaint

Plaintiff alleges that Jack Carter, Chief of Police Services for the Department of State Hospitals, deprived Plaintiff of his right to a fair trial by denying Plaintiff crime discovery and receipt of evidence in pending state court criminal matters. Plaintiff's complaint includes a motion to compel the production of documents by Coalinga State Hospital, including police reports, and discovery regarding patients at Coalinga State Hospital. Plaintiff's complaint also appears to seek the return of documents from a Deputy District Attorney produced by Plaintiff in a criminal matter. Plaintiff alleges that he being denied the right to a fair trial in state court related to the denial of criminal discovery.

III. Discussion

1. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id .; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-557.

Here, Plaintiff's complaint is not a short and plain statement of his claims showing that he is entitled to relief. It is disjointed, repetitive, and conclusory. Nonetheless, it is evident that Plaintiff is complaining about discovery in one or more state court criminal matters.

2. Abstention

Absent extraordinary circumstances, this court is barred from directly interfering with any ongoing criminal proceedings against Plaintiff in state court. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 46 & 48-50, 91 S.Ct. 746 (1971); Carden v. Montana, 626 F.2d 82, 84 (9th Cir.1980) (exceptions to the general rule of federal abstention arise only in "cases of proven harassment or prosecutions undertaken by state officials in bad faith without hope of obtaining a valid conviction, " or "in other extraordinary circumstances where irreparable injury can be shown."); Oliver v. Pineschi, 2014 WL 1431709, *2-3 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 11, 2014) (Younger abstention intended to apply where plaintiff seeks to have district court intervene in an ongoing criminal prosecution); Mansanares v. Arizona, 2011 WL 5924349, *6 (D. Ariz. Nov. 22, 2011) (in most circumstances Younger abstention doctrine prevents federal court from directly interfering ...


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